As I was going about my day today, I started thinking about what it takes to maintain life in my household. Not necessarily sanity...I'm convinced that is a lost cause.
I am often amazed that people think that life with a large family is unthinkable. They think that it must take a special person to handle it. Obviously they've not followed me through my days. I am NOT special. I am very average. Average height. Average weight (more than is good for me!). Average educational level. Average. Average. Average.
Then, this morning it hit me. The math. THAT is what people have trouble with.
The eight people in the house.
Which means 7 beds.
And at least 16 sets of clothing every day.
Which adds up to at least 2 loads of laundry, every day (which is why, on any given day, Mt. Laundry IS going to blow!).
The eight place settings at the table.
At every meal.
Which we usually manage AT LEAST 3 of those as SIT DOWN TOGETHER meals, per week.
Which adds up in terms of food.
Like the stew I made this morning.
1 1/2 pounds of stew meat.
1 pound of carrots.
5 pounds of potatoes.
There's a little bit left over...but then Jason and the two oldest kids didn't eat at home tonight.
Milk...3-5 gallons per week.
Cereal...at least one box per day. (We quit buying in boxes...they're too small).
Eggs...one dozen at a time.
Bread...sandwiches for everyone requires one whole loaf.
The sheer overwhelming numbers of activities.
School...3 in elementary school, 1 in middle school, 1 in high school, husband in grad school.
Small groups from church...women's group, men's group, military affiliated group
Middle School Band.
Military community activities.
SO, my schedule today was fun...and I thought I'd throw it in, just so you get an idea....
4:00 a.m. Alarm goes off. I turn it off, shake the husband, and crawl back in bed.
5:00 a.m. Second alarm goes off. I turn it off, dress and wake up oldest child. Fix coffee, go for a walk.
6:00 a.m. Grab a cup of coffee and walk oldest daughter out to meet her bus (which picks her up at 6:10 a.m.).
6:30 a.m. Finish second cup of coffee, grab purse, keys, and list, to run to the grocery store for potatoes, carrots, milk, butter, bread. (had coffee on the list, too, but not enough $$).
7:00 a.m. Back from the store, put things away. Get the rest of the kids out of bed. Spend time doing emails, catching up on facebook, email lists, doing childrens' hair, motivating (yelling at) children. Also wash and cut up potatoes and carrots for the stew for supper, and saute the stew meat, then dump in the crockpot. Load dishwasher.
7:45 a.m. Out the door to wait with the 3 elementary-aged children for their bus, which supposedly arrives at 7:53 a.m. Chat with neighbors.
8:15 a.m. Suddenly remember I have a dental appt at 9:00....gotta MOVE.
8:30 a.m. Out of shower, kicking 12-year-old out to catch his bus...which supposedly arrives at 8:40 a.m. Let my work know when I'll be back.
8:45 a.m. Load 4-year-old in the van, complete with bag of toys, x-rays from dentist in MT, name and address of dentist in MT, and dental insurance card.
9:00 a.m. Pshew...I made it. I can relax and fill out myriads of paperwork, gag on the x-rays, and get my referral to an oral surgeon.
9:58 a.m. Home again, time to get busy on my WORK for the day! First get 4-year-old her snack, because she STARVING, MOMMY, STARVING!
12:00 p.m. Take a break from the computer long enough to fix sandwiches for myself and 4-year-old. Forget that I was supposed to go to gym.
12:40 p.m. Neighbor girl shows up, reminding me that we were supposed to go to the gym at 12:30. Change clothes and head out for 30 minute workout.
1:45 p.m. Home again, and back to work. Started load of clothes.
3:00 p.m. Oldest child home...snack time!!
3:30 p.m. The elementary school bunch gets home.
4:00 p.m. The middle schooler is home.
4:30 p.m. Jason walks in, updates me on things, and leaves again, taking the oldest two with him (he's dropping the oldest off at her school for marching band performance at the football game, and taking the 12-year-old with him to his two softball games.).
5:00 p.m. The 4 left at home go out to play, leaving mom inside to have some peace and quiet.
6:00 p.m. Start gathering everyone in for supper. Get all the riding stock put away in the garage.
7:30 p.m. Supper is done, kids are in PJs. It's movie night...tonight we watched Cars.
9:30 p.m. Movie is done, kids get in bed. I leave to go pick up oldest from Marching Band. Home, feed her (more...she also ate at the game), start another load of laundry.
There's my day. I'm exhausted. I don't think I could cram one more thing in there, today. Maybe another day...but I don't know.
I LOVE having a big family. I can't imagine it any other way. But some days? I just want some sleep!!!